tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 24, 2012 2:00pm-4:00pm EDT
with just 13 days until the election, the campaign for the white house is headed west today to some of the swing states west of the mississippi. this hour we'll hear from mitt romney. he will speak to supporters in reno, nevada, before jetting off to iowa for a speech tonight in cedar rapids. president obama was first on the trail this morning in davenport, iowa. and take a look at this. before the day is over, he'll have appeared in four states, in addition to iowa. he's got stops in colorado, nevada, plus "the tonight show" taping in southern california. here is the president ticking off some of his achievements at stop number one today. >> i said i'd bet on american workers and american ingenuity and while the other guy was saying let detroit go bankrupt, i went in there and worked with them, the workers and the management, and we saved a dying auto industry that is back on top of the world. on issue after issue we are moving forward. after losing 9 million jobs in the great recession, our
businesses have now added more than 5 million new jobs over the past 2 1/2 years. manufacturing is at its highest level since the '90s. unemployment has fallen to its lowest level since i took office. home values and home sales are rising. our assembly lines are humming again. we got a long way to go, iowa. but we have come too far to turn back now. we can't afford to go back to what got us into this mess. we have got to stick with policies that are getting out of this mess. that's why i'm running for a second term as president of the united states of america. >> all right, so, again that was the president in iowa addressing supporters there. meantime, our jim acosta is also traveling with those who are on the campaign. he's in the battleground state of nevada. take a look at how close the race is there. a new poll giving president obama a slight edge with 49% of nevada's likely voters. romney close behind with 47%. and well within the poll's
margin of error. jim accoosta following the romn campaign. so, jim, what's the strategy there? >> reporter: well, fredricka, you can say that mitt romney has a swing state campaign blitz of his own going on right now. not quite as intense as the president who is going to be basically pulling an all nighter this week, but mitt romney will be traveling from where we are in nevada today to iowa and then to ohio later on tonight and then back to iowa, then back to ohio and then on to florida and virginia. so basically what is going on, fredricka, this race is so tight, and because none of these states can be taken for granted, that you have both of these campaigns furiously just trying to line up the states that they need in order to get to that magic number of 270 electoral votes. and i can tell you that just talking to a republican campaign operative here in nevada, that, you know, it is unlikely that either one of these candidates
will win both colorado and nevada. that that's not really what a lot of campaign experts think at this point, but obviously they're going to try their best. it is really all at this point about lining up these states. if you can't win ohio, try to get iowa, wisconsin, nevada, you know. it is all sort of going into the math and being sorted out in that fashion at this point, fredricka. >> jim acosta, thanks so much. appreciate that. let's bring in our john king. he's in washington right now. so, john, you know, quite the strategy for the president who is crisscrossing so many states in what is considered kind of crunch time with under 15 days to go before election day. what does this mean for the president, that he would be in four states and possibly more just within a two-day span. >> that mean he's got to fight for every last one. the president, fred, has an easier path to 270. not an easy path, an easier path. we put him at about 237. that's 237 electoral votes, either strong for the president or leaning the president's way.
and he only needs 270. if the president can win iowa, wisconsin, ohio and nothing else changes, it would be game over. but the romney campaign says iowa about a tie now. ohio is probably plus two or three for the president now. wisconsin seems a little safer for the president. but the republicans say maybe they're still in play there. what does the president doing, as jim noted, he's going to focus a lot of time on the three in midwest because they're close and compact. he and the vice president can hit all three of those states in a matter of a few hours. however, you have to have a backup plan in case governor romney can take iowa away, the president will go west. the latino vote is critical to nevada. when you got a dead heat race that either candidate could win, you're going to spend a lot of time and a lot of hours on the road and because you have to go from nevada to new hampshire to florida, got a lot of ground to cover. >> the president acknowledging how important the latino vote is. this is something the president told the des moines register, apparently kind of off the record, the quote now coming from an interview, a transcript
of which the white house released just this morning, saying this is off the record, i will just be very blunt, should i win a second term, a big reason i will win a second term is because the republican nominee and the republican party have so alienated the fastest growing demographic group in the country, the latino community. so that acknowledgement there. he says it is off the record, it was his intent, it seems as though to be on the record as making it very notable that the latino vote is pivotal. >> this was an odd one, fred. the president called the editor and the top officials of des moines register, had a conversation with them that he wanted to be off the record, did not want it published, he's trying to get their endorsement. he had an off the record conversation and the newspaper wrote an article saying we have this great conversation with the president, we just can't tell you anything about it because it had to be off the record, then the white house decided, okay, fine, they put that interrupt out in the public. it is an odd media strategy for the president there. to the remark about the latino vote, it was a critical part of the president's constituency four years ago. no question that if the latino
turnout, not just the percentage, the president got two-thirds of the latino vote four years go, we expect roughly two-thirds again, the question is will turnout be as high? a state like nevada it critical. organized mainly by the unions there. in a state like colorado, also important for the president, but less organized, less of a union presence there. it is critical to the president. in the interview, he said he would push for comprehensive immigration reform in the first year of his second term if elected. remember, he promised that first year of his first term. the question is, is that a credible promise to make the latino community. over the next 13 days. every piece of each candidate's base will assess the promises and decide the intensity of the vote. >> john, don't go anywhere. want to bring back jim acosta in reno, nevada. i want to follow up on some controversy involving a u.s. senate candidate who romney has endorsed. richard mourdock of indiana, making a statement that pregnancy from rape is, quote, god's intent. to what extent is the romney campaign trying to distance
itself from mourdock? >> reporter: well, fredricka, as you mentioned, mitt romney did tape an endorsement spot for richard mourdock that republican candidate in indiana for the u.s. senate there. he made those comments about abortion and rape and made some comments about why he believes abortion should be outlawed. and in the case of rape. and he had to go back and explain those comments in that news conference earlier on this morning. but the romney campaign is trying to distance itself somewhat from richard mourdock, how to say, there is a statement i can read you from andrea saw, a campaign spokeswoman, she says governor romney disagrees with richard mourdock and mr. mourdock's comments do not reflect governor romney's views. we disagree on the policy regarding exceptions for rape and incest, but still support him. you do hear from the romney campaign that the gop nominee is still standing behind richard mourdock, still supporting him in that race for the u.s. senate, and at this point,
fredricka, they're not calling on mourdock to pull that spot. it is still up on his website. it is still up on his youtube page. and that is why you see democrats out there trying to call on romney to say, hey, wait a minute, you need to take down that spot, there is a proobama super pac that has put out its own web video using mitt romney's endorsement ad in its own web video to try to draw attention to that and this all comes as a distraction for the romney campaign with precious little time left, just as democrats and the president have been hammering mitt romney on women's issues. so not good timing for mitt romney. >> jim acosta in reno, thanks so much, john king in washington, appreciate hearing from both of you. all right, i want to bring florida into this conversation. specifically how each campaign is setting up its ground game there. ali velshi, john avalon standing by from our cnn election bus in the sunshine state. that's next. on gasoline. i am probably going to the gas station
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debate. mitt romney leading barack obama by one percentage point, that's well within the poll's margin of error. chief business correspondent ali velshi and cnn contributor john avalon are on the cnn battleground bus tour, talking with voters in four key swing states, including florida, north carolina, virginia and ohio. today's stop, lakeland, florida. >> fred, we're in lakeland, florida. in the middle of the state. tampa is to our west, orlando is to our east. we're moving toward orlando and then jacksonville to florida has highly specific issues in this campaign. number one, ground zero for the housing issue. a lot of houses underwater, higher unemployment rate than the national average, higher population of senior citizens than the national average and this key hispanic vote that is not -- it doesn't go one way. >> it doesn't. it is very important. the hispanic population, particularly in florida, is not a monolith. you have cuban population out of miami, traditionally very
republican, going over the bay of pigs and castro, very independently republican. now two-thirds is now cuban, they're from puerto rico, the dominican republic, central and latin america, and those folks are much more amenable to a democratic message as they are nationally the hispanic vote. you are a real split. it comes down to the i-4 corridor, not traditionally cuban, yes in tampa, not orlando. that's what they're fighting over, not just the undecided swing voters but hispanic vote both ways in the state of florida. >> polk county where we're in has the same percentage of registered democrats as registered republicans. it has about a perfect split in undecided voters. so it is not just about convincing those voters with the specifics that they're looking for to get them on to one side or the other, it is about getting them out. >> that's exactly right. ground game matter enormously. in an election this tight, ground game is key. every campaign will acknowledge it. the obama campaign has an advantage in the number of local headquarters. 102 obama headquarters to 48
romney headquarters. they have been doing that for the last two years. romney was fighting for the nomination. now it is get out the vote time. it is not just about election day. election day already started. it is about early voting. >> is it close enough in places like florida where even if you don't swing enough people from undecided into your column, but ground game works that you can win it. >> that's part of the bet. remember, 2000, george w. bush wins the presidency because he wins florida by 537 votes. so we have seen this, every vote counts. >> could be one county's ground game. >> the people in florida know that, they feel it, they have experienced it. >> that's why it is important to talk to all of these people because really every vote in this county, in this state actually does count. 29 electoral college votes at stake here. stay with us for the rest of the tour, we're heading all the way up to ohio. >> ali velshi, john avalon, thank you so much. john king in washington, john, the president won the red state of florida back in 2008.
does he have to change the narrative? s going to be in tampa tomorrow morning. what was the real game changer for him and how does he regain some of that momentum he once had? >> it is a tougher state this time. we hosted a debate in the jacksonville area and back then democrats said we don't think the president will carry florida this november. you just saw from our poll numbers it very, very close now, but privately in both campaigns, they believe florida is beginning to trend governor romney's way. the question is whether the president can stop it. he'll be in tampa. you heard john and ali note, that's a critical error for the president. tampa over the west coast, you go across, come down to orlando and then daytona, that's where you find independent swing voters, the latino population that is open to the president, florida being such a big diverse state, almost like california. a lot of the campaigning is done on television. several media markets. in these final weeks, that is when personal contact matters this is where the president, maybe it won't be enough in florida, but we'll see. this is where the president has
an advantage as john avalon noted, without a primary challenge, they have been at this for a long time. here is what they're trying to do, they know everything about you, they bought every possible piece of data, from your credit card company to anybody else. if you log on to a website and i log on at the same time, we get a different pop-up ad, different phone calls, different things in the mailbox in the next ten days addressing the issues they know we care about. that's all part of the microtargeting and effort try to convince you at the end to come their way. the candidates will be running around, but this is where they become very dependent, not just on the president, vice president, governor romney and paul ryan and on the volunteers and people working in the trenches with the clip boards knocking on doors and working the phones. >> very good. john king, thank you for joining us from washington. appreciate that. we're still on the topic of florida. bogus letters, this time the center point of discussion. they're going out to vote areas cross the state, telling them they're not eligible to vote. up next, i'll speak live with one of the people who actually received one.
a poll taken before the last debate shows romney leading obama by just one percentage point in florida. so every florida vote is crucial. but an investigation is under way after some florida voters received letters questioning whether they are legally eligible to vote. the letters claim to be from the county election supervisor saying this, quote, failure to submit this form within 15 days will result in the removal of your name from the voter registration rolls and you will no longer be eligible to vote. a nonregistered voter who cast a vote in the state of florida may be subject to arrest, imprisonment and/or other criminal sanctions. i'm joined by one of the voters who received that letter, bill bishop is the president of the jacksonville city council. so, mr. bishop, you received one of these letters in the mail. how did it strike you when you received it? did it look authentic? >> when i received the letter, at first blush it looked like just another piece of political
junk mail. but then after closer inspection of the outside of it, it had just enough officialty to make me open it up. it doesn't look exactly right. >> so given you work for the city, you probably are a little bit more astute as to what kind of mail looks official or not. do you know anybody else who received this kind of letter and if so what was their reaction? how have they responded? >> well, i don't know anybody personally who else received it. i do know there were several in jacksonville that did. and after further conversations with our supervisor of elections, there were many throughout the state and in multiple counties that received them. >> all right, joe johns, our correspondent out of washington, is also with us now to join in on the conversation. joe, you recently did a documentary about voter fraud, intimidation and, you know, voter i.d. changes in laws. is this -- this kind of campaign where these letters are going
out, is this kind of in sync with a wave of confusion that is sweeping many jurisdictions across the country leading up to this election day? >> fredricka, i think that's exactly the word you need to use. we're talking about confusion here. and there is a lot of confusion around the country, certainly there in the state of florida. and i think mr. bishop is one good sort of representative of it. and the question is why, why would somebody create confusion? in this case, the authorities say they're looking at it as, you know, plain and simple, mail fraud. the fbi, we're told has just announced that they have launched an investigation, joining up with united states postal inspectors and the florida department of law enforcement, all to try to take a good, hard look at why letters like these coming from seattle, washington, going to the state of florida would actually have been put in the mail, for what purpose, confusion, yes.
but the thing that is interesting is that if you look at mr. bishop, there are a lot of others we're told who are people who are very politically active, who received these letters. so it doesn't appear that the objective was just to quietly make people not vote. whoever did this appears to have wanted it to become public and to become known and for people to talk about it. >> so mr. bishop, you know, joe underscoring there, many of these letters targeted, you know, city officials, many also targeted registered republicans. and when you look at a post mark from seattle to some of these florida addresses, what does this tell you about this campaign or who might be responsible? who is behind this kind of letter campaign? >> well, as far as who is behind it, i have no idea. this is something that just doesn't make any sense. all it could potentially do is just tie up various time of the employees of all of the
supervisor of elections office because it doesn't ask anybody to do anything other than contact your supervisor of elections. so all it -- the end result is, it just becomes a major distraction of everybody's time and i think as it was described as voter confusion is probably about the only thing you can fathom out of all of this. otherwise, it just doesn't make any sense. >> just 13 days before election day, joe. you mentioned there is an investigation under way. but there are a lot of investigations on so many different levels and so many different jurisdictions. is it possible that these investigators who really get to the bottom of anything by november 6th? >> no, you know, that's the million dollar question. and the question for voters out there is what do i do? and i think that underscores the importance of staying attuned to your media, reading your newspapers, keeping up with what's going on in the elections so that you know if there is a scam out there or somebody suggests you're not supposed to vote or somebody says vote in a
different day or whatever it is, be aware it is more important for the american electorate to be aware and sort of prepared for anything because a lot of people think this is a very unusual election, but, fredricka, i have to tell you, to some degree this is about social media and the ability to move a message around, so more people are actually finding out about the underbelly of elections and the strange little things that go on in the last few days leading up to a hotly contested election. >> all right, joe jonhns, bill bishop, thank you to both of you. the comments that are giving mitt romney's campaign a big headache today. a u.s. senate candidate who romney endorsed said pregnancies from rape are intended by god. and you're about to hear richard mourdock's response to his critics. [ ross ] we are at the bottom of the earth: patagonia, chile.
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pregnancies resulting from rape are intended by god. just hours ago, mourdock apologized for his, quote, lack of clarity, end quote, and said other people were twisting his words. before we get to his remarks today, let's play the clip that sparked the controversy in the first place from last night's debate. >> i believe that life begins at conception. the only exception i have for -- to have an abortion is in that case of the life of the mother. i just -- i struggled with it myself for a long time, but came to realize life is a gift from god, and i think when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen. >> today, mourdock says he is humbled by the uproar. >> i said life is precious. i believe life is precious. i believe rape is a brutal act. it is something that i abhor. and that anyone can come away
with any meaning other than what i just said is regrettable and for that i apologize. i don't think god wants rape, i don't think he wants that at all because rape is evil. to twist and suggest that somehow i was saying that god approves of rape is the wrong thing because it is not what i was saying. it is certainly not what i intended and, again, if anyone came away with that, i apologize they were able to make that interpretation from my less than fully articulate use of words. >> dana bash joining us from new york. so, dana, a little too early to tell whether these words are potentially damaging for him, the candidate, or for anyone else? >> reporter: i think it is a little too early to tell. certainly he at the -- clearly at the encouragement of people in the state and out of the state came out pretty quickly to try to clarify or explain what he was talking about, not just because the race in indiana that he is in is razor thin, but
because of what we're seeing on the national level, mitt romney really trying to appeal to women, undecided women in these last 13 days of the race. so unclear if it is really going to hurt romney or it is going to hurt -- to hurt mourdock at all. but what we do know is that democrats have tried very hard, within ten minutes, fred, ten minutes of those comments last night they put out a press release and tried to tie him to romney. bad news for romney is romney just put an ad up endorsing mourdock and tried to get people out to vote for him. watch a little part of that ad. >> this fall i'm supporting richard mourdock for senate. as state treasurer, richard worked with governor daniels to balance the budget and make government more accountable. as senator, richard will be the 51st vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. richard will help stop the
reed/pelosi agenda. >> through a spokesman, romney said the views that mourdock espoused are not his own and that's true. when it comes to abortion, romney is opposed to it, but does make exceptions for rape and other things, but rape in this case is what we're talking about. mourdock obviously doesn't. but romney's campaign is also saying they do still -- romney still supports mourdock and he's not asking mourdock to pull down that ad, even though democrats are pushing very hard trying to make an issue of that, saying he should -- >> is that a discussion still taking place in the romney camp, they are discussing whether they should try to pull that ad or are you saying that they have made that decision, that ad will remain, period? >> reporter: i'm told they made that decision, that ad will remain. but i'm not willing to say anything to put a period on anything of this kind of controversy, this late in the game. i think it really depends on how things play out. you remember what happened, different experience, remember what happened with todd akin and things changed very quickly. >> right. except he's still in the race,
he's lost, you know, a lot of support, according to polls and he's lost a lot in fund-raising but is still in the race. meantime, how about for mourdock's opponent, joe donley. anything from him? how has he perhaps interpreting this as an advantage for he and his camp? >> he also put out a press lease, he's trying to take advantage of this. he is a conservative democrat. you have to be if you're running in indiana, especially if you're neck and neck with a republican as he is, he opposes abortion, but does also think that there should be an exception for rape, excuse me, and he is absolutely saying that this is -- that mourdock is out of the mainstream, trying to take advantage of this. it was already a neck and neck race. you remember that richard lugar, a veteran republican, thought of as more moderate, he was ousted in a primary earlier this year by mourdock. it was already going to be tough for mourdock who is very conservative, to hold on to the seat especially against joe donnelly who is a democrat who has been in the state for a long
time, whether or not this is going to mack a difference, you know, that remains to be seen. you saw in warp speed mourdock got out there to try to tamp down this controversy, not just for him, but for the guy who endorsed him, who everybody really is fighting for in the republican party and that is mitt romney. >> all right, still, anything can happen. just 13 days away. appreciate that. dana bash, joining us from new york. new into cnn, e-mails sent to the white house as the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate was unfolding. up next, what the e-mails said about a terror group that claimed responsibility and how the obama administration's reacting to these revelations. se world... ...you see they all have something very interesting in common. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers...
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attack, government officials knew a terror group took responsibility. a government e-mail sent to the white house, the state department and the fbi had a subject titled, quote, update ii, ansar al sharia claims responsibility for benghazi attack. it goes on to say, embassy tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter and has called for an attack on embassy tripoli. in response, u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton said people just wait for what the independent accountability review board concludes. >> looking at everything, not cherry picking one story here, one document there, but looking at everything, which i highly recommend as the appropriate approach to something as complex as an attack like this, you know, posting something on facebook is not in and of itself
evidence. >> cnn's elise labott is live for us now. this was one of several e-mails sent the evening of the attack. you heard the secretary of state talking about this is really like puzzle pieces. and this is just one of the many pieces. what are some of the other pieces? >> that's right, fred. really the first communications that we have seen what happened in real time coming from the embassy and the state department operations room, but a little bit of dig there by secretary clinton saying this was one of a lot of traffic of that night, that was painting a more fuller picture. one of the first e-mails that came, about 4:00 p.m. u.s. time, so it would be 10:00 p.m. in libya when the attacks started, and subject was u.s. mission in benghazi under attack. embassy tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots, explosions had been heard as well, and ambassador stevens who is currently in benghazi and four mission personnel are in the compound safe haven. now, a half hour later, an
update that said that the embassy reports the firing at the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi has stopped. and the compound has been cleared, a response team is on site, attempting to locate those personnel. and you can see, i mean, fred, that wasn't actually the case. you see how frantic and chaotic it is in these moments after the attack because what really had happened was that some of these armed gunmen had breached the walls and actually set fire to that one building where ambassador stevens and the other gentleman, shawn smith, were holed up in the safe room and met their fate. so i think secretary clinton was trying to show that this is pretty chaotic and in the fog of war, these are the kind of spot assessments of what happened at the time. and just one kind of data point in what was go on that night. >> and so elise, while one of those e-mails talks about the claim of responsibility, administration officials are also quick to point out that that same terror group denied any responsibility for the
attack. what kind of lapse of time are we talking about or is this kind of simultaneous communication? >> well, they denied responsibility a little bit later and there is some reason to believe perhaps this group ansar al sharia which has ties to al qaeda in maghreb, they could still be involved. but i think what is going on here is there is a lost, like, little dribs and drabs of these e-mails coming out. a lot of agencies were talking to each other that night, it doesn't really advance the story in any meaningful way. but it is a kind of data point as i said that goes to a larger narrative of what was going on and it does -- it raised some questions as to why that wasn't weighed into a fuller consideration of the assessment of what was going on that night. >> elise labott, thanks so much from washington. appreciate that. all right, up next, back to the campaign trail. both candidates are crisscrossing the u.s. namely out west.
in fact, momentarily right now you're looking at live pictures of where momentarily mitt romney will be emerging there in reno, nevada, campaigning. and we're also hearing that hundreds of blank ballots are missing in one state. we'll have details next. we're not in london, are we? no. why? apparently my debit card is. what? i know. don't worry, we have cancelled your old card. great. thank you. in addition to us monitoring your accounts for unusual activity, you could also set up free account alerts. okay. [ female announcer ] at wells fargo we're working around the clock to help protect your money and financial information. here's your temporary card. welcome back. how was london? [ female announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far. [ female announcer ] w♪lls fargo.
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all right, to cleveland, ohio, now. you're looking at gop vice presidential nominee paul ryan. he'll be giving a speech on economic policy, which just got under way. and he'll also be touching on what he believes to be the community involvement over the years of presidential nominee mitt romney. let's listen in now. looks like we have some audio problems. we'll try that again as soon as we're able to re-establish that. meantime, up next, keeping an eye on hurricane sandy as it heads north in the atlantic. plus, one of america's biggest banks sued for a billion dollars over alleged mortgage fraud.
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we'll try this one more time. we think the audio has been cleared up there. paul ryan stumping for the romney/ryan ticket in cleveland, ohio. let's listen. >> that's just a false argument. it is a straw man set up to avoid a genuine debate. the truth is mitt romney and i believe in true compassion and upward mobility. and we're offering a vision based on real reforms for lifting people out of poverty. look, i'm a proud republican. our party does a good job of speaking to the part of the american dream that involves taking what you're passionate about and making a successful living of it. but part of what makes america great is that when americans don't succeed we look out for one another through our communities. my party has a vision for making our community stronger.
but we don't always do a good job of laying out that vision. mitt romney and i want to change that. each of us understands the importance of community from experience. look, i come from a town that has been hit as hard as any. a lot of guys i grew up with worked at the gm plant in my hometown. and they lost their jobs when that plant was closed. but what happened next is the same thing that happens in communities around the country every day. our town pulled together. our churches and charities and friends and neighbors were there for one another. in textbooks, they call this civil society. in my own experience, i know it as janesville, wisconsin. as for mitt romney, he not only understands the importance of community, he's lived it. he's a guy who at the height of successful business took the time to serve as a lay pastor
for his church for 14 years. counseling people in boston's inner city neighborhoods, especially when they lost a job, he's a man who could have easily have contented himself with giving donations to needy causes. but everyone who knows him well will tell you that mitt has always given his time and attention to those around him who are hurting. he's the type that we have all run into our own communities. here in cleveland too and all around america. americans are a compassionate people. >> gop vice presidential nominee paul ryan there in cleveland, ohio, trying to underscore the economic policies, of trying to lift the poor out of their situation. also underscoring the commitment of romney to helping the community at large. meantime, you're also looking at live picks of mitt romney, the republican presidential nominee. he's in reno, nevada. let's listen in. >> a caregiver for a senior.
you're a daughter, a son of a senior, you're caring for them. if they develop an illness of some kind, and they need to see a medical specialist, and you or they call on the phone to the specialist in reno or one of the several that are here and you ask for deployment and then you might hear this, you might hear the receptionist say, i'm sorry, we're not taking any more medicare patients. and so then you call the other medical specialist in town, and they say the same thing, i'm sorry, we're not taking any more -- any more medicare patients and the reason they'll explain is because with the obama care cuts of $716 billion, reducing the reimbursement for the doctors and for providers of all kinds, why, some 50% of doctors in america that have been polled have said they're not going to take more medicare patients. the idea that the president would cut medicare for current -- for current seniors in order to pay for his, you
know, his legacy, obama care, is something which i don't think the american people understand the impact on them and their families. and that's one reason why i'm convinced that the people of america will elect me to repeal obama care and replace it with real health care reform. >> now, let's say you're not a senior or you don't have a senior that you're helping care for and you're perhaps in your 40s or your 50s. and you've always recognized that these would be the most productive years in your life, these would be the times that you would have the best job and be able to put some money away for retirement and perhaps also be able to help pay for some of your kids' college education or perhaps you just got a home and you're expecting that the value of the home will grow and it will be worth more when you retire than, yeah, that used to be the case, right? and so you're thinking about these as being the most productive years and yet you're
finding that's not the case. the value of your home is not going up. you're not able to put anything away. you barely are able to make ends meet. i was just a few days ago speaking with a man, as i recall he was in his 50s, he said that the job he used to have was at $25 an hour, plus benefits. but the job he has -- >> the romney/ryan ticket laying out its plan in complementary live appearances now. mittomney in reno, nevada. paul ryan in cleveland, ohio, right now. we'll take you back to the campaign trail. where is the president of the united states? well, he's on a big battleground state blitz. we'll take you there next. while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation.
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the sundance film festival. the film "the middle of nowhere" hits theaters this week. it is a story of a wife whose world is shattered when her husband is sent to prison. but it is duvernay's journey that is also a powerful story all its own. >> my name is eva duvernay. i'm a black woman filmmaker. >> i can't believe it. ten months early. >> good news. >> it is great news. you got everything going for you. you're coming home. >> at this point i made films that i've written. it takes a lot to make a film. it is a lot of brain power, a lot of heart, a lot of your spirit goes into these films. the framing of the shots in my films, the choices of music, the cadence and rhythm of the editing, all of that, i'm very aware is coming through who i am, and i'm a sister.
so i wear that very proudly. i made a career change from publicist to filmmaker. for me as a publicist, i had a really great job. i would be on the film sets in pain wanting to make my own. i would be asked to work on movies i thought were caricatures of us as women, as black people w. for me it was about pushing through all of that fear. the only thing that drove me is just this idea of forward movement. never to stay still. i think there is something very powerful and something amazing to be said for momentum. my next film, "middle of nowhere," we're pushing that out and excited about the life that it is having since we debuted at sundance. the fact that it is touching people and changing things, so i'm really excited about that.
i think it is really been a beautiful journey. it has all gotten me to where i am right now, a place that feels really beautiful and supportive and comfortable and fulfilled. >> soledad o'brien will be examining provocative questions about skin color, discrimination and race in "who is black in america." the documentary premieres sunday, december 9th at 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. eastern, only on cnn. i'm fredricka whitfield in for brooke baldwin. the blitz is on out west with 13 days until the election. president obama and mitt romney are blazing trails in the western swing states. we heard a short time ago from governor romney at his first stop today in reno, nevada. this evening he'll be in cedar rapids, iowa. and talk about a blitz, take a look at the president's travel plans. he will be in four states today,
then four more states tomorrow. just a short time ago he stopped in for lunch at antonella's pizza in davenport. jessica yellin is following the president on the trail. >> reporter: hi, fredricka, here in davenport, iowa, president obama turned out and was quick to ask the crowd to vote. this battleground tour is all about two things, getting out the early vote, and energizing undecided voters, trying to sway, i should say, undecided voters to come over to his side. to them, he's pushing his economic message and telling them he has a detailed plan, a specific plan for the second term. we got a bit of a glimpse of that when an interview he did with the des moines register that was meant to be off the record was put on the record. he revealed that he plans to pursue immigration reform in a
second term. right away first year he thinks he could get that done. he said and he also believes that the sequestration crisis, this fiscal cliff we all talk about in washington, that he believes that will be resolved and he'll reach something equivalent to that grand bargain we were talking about, with about $4 trillion worth of deficit reduction. so two pieces of news for a second term agenda. and the president on the trail also telling the crowd here that he is the same principled man in his words that he has been all along, trying to draw a contrast with romney who they said is changing throughout the campaign. listen to this. >> there are some folks in this crowd who probably have been following me since i was running for the united states senate. and, you know what, you can, like this guy right here, who i served with in the united states
senate, and, you know, you could take a videotape of things i said ten years ago, 12 years ago, and you would say, man this is the same guy. has the same values. cares about the same people. doesn't forget where he came from. knows who he's fighting for. and you know what, i haven't finished all the work that we set out to do back in 2008. but i have fought for you every single day that i've held this office. >> reporter: and from iowa, fredricka, the president goes on to denver, colorado. he'll make stops in florida, virginia. again in ohio, he goes overnight to las vegas and he'll also stop in los angeles to tape the jay leno show and in chicago, illinois, to cast an early ballot for himself, no doubt, before returning to the white house. fredricka? >> jessica, thanks so much. if you're counting, that's eight states, two days, for the
president and here is a glimpse at how the race stands, less than two weeks until the election. our cnn poll of polls is showing mitt romney one point ahead of the president, 48% to 47%. joining us now live, cnn's jim acosta traveling with the romney campaign in reno, nevada. listening to mitt romney there. we understand right now he's talking a bit more about small businesses and what he can do for the small business industry. and all of this, just 13 days away, before election day. >> that's right, fredricka, we're listening to mitt romney here in reno, nevada, part of a big swing state blitz for the gop nominee. i'll try to keep my voice down a little bit because this crowd behind me is also here, to hear mitt romney. i can tell you that with the thing that we have been hearing so far during this speech here in reno, fredricka, is about families. mitt romney said the word families six or seven times in the last several minutes, laying out his agenda for what he would do if he were elected president.
and he said that that pertains to the housing market here in nevada, which is obviously a very important issue. all of the foreclosures that have happened in this state. but he also extended that to the issue of medicare, he went after the president for those cuts in medicare, that mitt romney said pay for the president's health care law. and so on. and so we're going to be hearing this message throughout this day. it is perhaps a sign of the message to come for the rest of this swing state blitz. and he is going to have quite a hectic schedule, not quite as hectic as the president, but from here he goes on to iowa, then ohio, then back to iowa, then back to ohio again. and then florida and virginia. and you can just look at that schedule and see exactly sort of what the campaign is doing right now. they're starting to look at states that they need to win, should they not win some of the big three states, florida, ohio and virginia. if you lose one or two of those big three states, you need to win in iowa, win in nevada. that's why we're seeing this
campaign schedule laying out. >> jim acosta there in reno, nevada, thanks so much. we're going to talk about the key state of florida where the lead there too is razor thin. take a look at this cnn orc poll taken last week before the final debate. mitt romney leading barack obama by just one percentage point, that's well within the poll's margin of error. chief business correspondent ali velshi is on the cnn battleground bus tour, talking with voters in four key swing states, florida, north carolina, virginia and ohio. and ali joins us now from winter park, florida. ali, you know, what is going to be the thrust of the message there, particularly with the president, he'll be in tampa tomorrow morning. you know, talking about a very wealthy and also a mostly elderly community in the midsection, but then in the southern portion of the state, you talk about, you know, big latino turnout, but they don't vote as one monolith either.
>> reporter: right. right, they don't, although if you were to characterize, you could characterize the cuban population in miami as traditionally favoring republicans over democrats. near orlando, for instance, a bigger growth in the puerto rican or noncuban latino population. and they're even less monolithic than that. the ground operation probably takes precedence over whether or not you're attracting a particular group, but you hit on something bigger, fred, that is florida has every economic issue in this country. the wealthy in florida are older in some cases, this has the largest population of people over the age of 60. worried about their investments, worried about medicare, social security. you got the housing problem. this state was ground zero for foreclosures and home price drops. you're now starting to see the combination of those low interest rates and low home prices, orlando area has seen housing -- the number of houses that started to be built increasing every month for the last several months. so the message here has got to
be highly specific. which one of these candidates is going to do more to improve the economy, florida has seen an improvement, but still has an unemployment rate that is higher than the national average and as you know, fred, the reason we're here, swing state, the biggest swing state, 29 electoral votes, dead heat between the two candidates right now. and they're working really, really hard. right behind me, gathering of women for romney. ann romney is going to be there, cindy mccain will be there shortly. they're really working florida very hard, fred. >> what does that message, i guess, have to be that will resonate with most because as you said, it is a very diverse community, but the clock is ticking, you just have 13 days left, there has to be a very pointed specific message that any of the candidates have to deliver, that resonates with a lot of people. what would that be in florida? >> reporter: that's the problem. the thing that resonates with a lot of people may not be the specificity that the undecideds need. we're in a county, we're in
counties where really the decision is going to be made by those people who are uncommitted, undecided at the moment and they are holding out because they want some specifics. they look at barack obama's vision of the future, mitt romney's and says which one of these guys has a better chance of actually getting to where they want to go? it might even trump ideology. the idea that they both want a better economy, we know that, which one going to get it done and people said to me, they are lacking that specificity, they want it, but that's not really what the candidates are giving them. i'm not sure what is going to help them make their mind up in the next 13 days, they're going to make the difference. individual voters in this state could carry the election. everybody knows how important florida is to this election. >> florida, florida, florida as they say. ali velshi, thanks so much in winter park. appreciate it. up next, former cia operator bob bear joining me live on the e-mail sent to the white house as the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate was unfolding. plus, we're watching the atlantic where hurricane sandy is barreling north. [ female announcer ] at yoplait, we want you to feel even better about your favorite flavors. so when you call, tweet, and post, we listen.
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so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. it has been at the heart of a bitter back and forth in the presidential campaign and on capitol hill. what the obama administration knew after four americans were killed in benghazi, libya. now, just released e-mails show just two hours after the initial
message, the consulate was under attack, government officials knew a terror group took responsibility. a government e-mail sent to the white house, the state department and the fbi had a subject title of, quote, update 2, ansar al sharia claims responsibility for benghazi attack. it goes on to say, embassy tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on facebook and twitter and called for an attack on embassy tripoli. in response, u.s. secretary of state hillary clinton said people must wait for what the independent accountability review board concludes. >> posting on something on facebook is not in and of itself evidence. and i think this just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time, and continued for some time to be. >> okay, let's turn to bob bear, a former cia director of operations in the middle east. and a cnn contributor.
good to see you, bob. administration officials are pointing out this same terror group also denied responsibility for the attack on another occasion just minutes if not hours in between. so how much weight did this e-mail have for the decisionmakers on september 11th? >> well, i think the important point in all of this, these e-mails, is the white house and the state department knew that the consulate in benghazi was under military attack. this was not a demonstration. there were large explosions, heavy gunfire. secondly, this went on for nearly six hours and the white house was aware of it, as was the secretary of state or should have been. and nobody did anything. this just went on and on and on and at the end of it, when it was too late to save the ambassador, and the other three people killed there, it was -- they spun the story on this, saying, it was very confusing,
we didn't know what was going on. >> what could have been done if you're talking about the six hour span, what could have been done that wasn't done in your view? >> well, there are drones in the area. i don't know how deployable they were at the time. there was government forces that could have been moved faster. remember, we have to -- the details are being dribbled out on this story, which i find very disturbing, it has become a partisan football. and we're not getting to the facts. the facts is four people were sacrificed there. we don't know what the security status was before this. we don't actually know how the ambassador died until this point. i realize this is going to an accountability review board, and it may come out at some point. i hope it does. but right now this thing landed in the middle of american politics and we still don't know. i was talking to some s.e.a.l.s today, the two ex-s.e.a.l.s that
died there, you know, fought in a long prolonged battle. and they were just out there and the question is, why. >> well, let's examine another e-mail, reading just like this, saying, quote, embassy tripoli reports the firing of the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi stopped and the compound has been cleared. a response team is on site attempting to locate the mission personnel. so we now know that this was sent, militants actually had broken into the benghazi compound. but given your experience kind of on the ground, what do you imagine was happening given the geographical differences between tripoli and benghazi, what do you suppose was happening in terms of conveying the immediacy of information? that's what we're doing here, is we're examining the immediacy of information, but if all of those who were involved in benghazi were, you know, in peril, then
tripoli is the nearest location, but how accurate would tripoli be able to be when the clock is ticking? >> tripoli wouldn't, but the first call would have been made to the libyan government, the military forces in benghazi. and demanding that the embassy be -- >> isn't this a problem too there, the libyan government. you're talking as though it was established and it is a very porous and not very solid at that point or even now. >> i'm sure nobody picked up the phone. but there are disturbing aspects, how could they not locate the consulate personnel and the ambassador? the safe room is known. when they went in, you know. i hear these outrageous rumors that the ambassador actually had been kidnapped for a time before he died. i simply don't know. these are still early reports. we're talking weeks after this happened and we don't know. and keep in mind, this is not --
this was an attack on u.s. sovereign territory. it has never happened before since the attack on our embassy in iran. this isn't a light matter that we should easily dismiss. and i think the faster we appoint an independent commission to look into it, the better we are, the safer our other consulates and embassies will be. >> bob bear, former cia director of operations of the middle east and cnn contributor, thank you so much for your time. >> thank you. all right, up next, a proposed temporary cease-fire in syria. find out what's behind this possible truce. plus, hurricane sandy barreling its way up the atlantic. i'll tell you about the chances of the storm hitting the u.s. [ ross ] the streets of monaco,
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in syria today, a rare note of optimism from diplomats trying to end the civil war there. the u.n.'s point man for peace in syria says the government has agreed in principle to stop fighting over a four-day holiday that begins friday. as encouraging as that sounds, there is a problem. every cease-fire that has been negotiated has failed. during 19 months of fighting, an
estimated 0,0 ed 30,000 people been killed, mostly civilians. tropical storm sandy gained some strength today and has been upgraded to a hurricane now. winds packing speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, now lashing jamaica. the storm is expected to spin toward cuba making landfall tomorrow in cuba. chad myers with us now. already making landfall in jamaica. >> just did. one minute ago, got this right off the wire. sandy makes landfall in southeast jamaica, close to kingston jamaica, 80-mile-per-hour winds. that will take it over the blue mountain coffee area. that's 4 bucks a pound. expect blue mountain jamaica wind, especially up there on the mountains to be over 100 miles per hour there on the slopes. there it is, 80-mile-per-hour storm there, kingston, jamaica, the next stop cuba. a little farther to the -- i would say to the left of guantanamo bay. then on up through the bahamas and into the atlantic. and here is where it gets strange. i don't mean a little. tropical storm watch from about
cape canaveral down to the middle keys. but where it gets strange is what happens to the storm after that. what the models are saying after that. they diverge by 4,000 miles. notice the cone does not approach the u.s. coast. yet. that's the cone that they made at 11:00 this morning. we'll see 5:00 because here are some of the latest models that have been running. yesterday if you're watching me at sit room, the 5:30 hour, only one line turned left into the u.s., the rest turned out to sea. now there are many more than one that are turning to the left and maybe taking this storm into the u.s. as a category something hurricane. one model going that way, another model going off to the east. something is going to happen with this storm. we hope it gets in the atlantic, but there is still a very big potential that the cone is not correct after day five, or after day four, starts turning to the left, that would make a run at the u.s., that would be significant for us. >> all right, let's hope it continues to go out to the atlantic and just disappears.
we're talking about, what, the end of november is the end of hurricane season. so we still have a ways to go. >> water still warm enough right now. >> thank you very much, chad. appreciate that. back to the campaign trail as president obama hits the swing state. details next. one of america's big of the banks sued for a billion dollars over alleged mortgage fraud. what this bombshell means for bank of america next. questions?
it is a pretty good bet, bank of america is regretting today that it ever bought countrywide financial. countrywide, the troubled mortgage giant, is at the heart of a $1 billion lawsuit the justice department has filed against bank of america. justice officials say countrywide was defrauding the government and bank of america allegedly continued the scheme
when it took over countrywide, back in 2008. cnn's alison kosik joining me live from the new york stock exchange. explain the allegations against bank of america. >> okay, fredricka. the allegations involve a mortgage program that was under countrywide financial when it was still around called the hustle. this program began in 2007 according to the government and continued under bank of america through 2009. its goal, to write lots of mortgages and write them fast to keep the loans moving forward, to get them through the approval process and keep them moving, countrywide through some quality controls out the window that would have backed up the process. it was up to countrywide to make sure the loans met certain standards before passing them on to fannie and freddie. that clearly didn't happen, said the government. in fact, the government says in some cases some applicants didn't even have critical pieces of paperwork, but were approved anyway. here is one thing that made it worse. this hustle program gave loan processors bonuses for pushing through more loans, basically
giving them incentives to cut corners. >> what is the response from bank of america now? >> so we haven't heard from bank of america yet. but we're hearing about these mortgage related lawsuits, more and more now. one from wells fargo, hit with a similar lawsuit two weeks ago, and these lawsuits, like this, they're really a big unknown for banks and what they're doing as they were report their earnings, they're saying -- they're setting aside money for possible litigation, so they're almost expecting this. >> okay, so meantime, the federal reserve just a short time ago made another announcement about the state of the economy. pretty upbeat. elaborate for us. >> you know, nothing new is how i would term this latest statement from the fed. with the fed saying the economy is growing at a moderate pace, saying that the housing market is still showing improvement. but the big takeaway that you get from this statement is, look, the economy is still not in great shape, the fed wants to continue helping the economy, aka its bond buying program until the job market shows
substantial improvement. >> all right, alison kosik, thanks so much for the updates, appreciate it. all right, the disposition matrix. you're probably hearing about it for the first time. sounds like a sci-fi movie. it is a secret database used to hunt down terrorists. it is not just a list of kill names, it includes other resources to help nab terrorists beyond the reach of drones. let's bring in washington post intelligence reporter greg miller, responsible for an article today. how long, greg, has this secret matrix been in development? >> fairly new. it has been in development for a little over a year. and it is still remains a work in progress. it has been described to me as something that has been helpful in mapping out contingencies for the government as it pursues counterterrorism targets beyond the reach of american droenz ned something that could become
increasingly crucial as al qaeda continues to morph and take advantage of the turmoil across the middle east and north africa. >> is this what the president was alluding to monday night during the debate, just roll this clip? >> there is no doubt that attitudes about americans have changed. but they're always going to be elements in these countries that potentially threaten the united states. and we want to shrink those groups and those net works and we can do that, but we're also always going to have to maintain vigilance when it comes to terrorist activity. it is absolutely true we cannot just meet the challenges militarily. what i've done throughout my presidency and will continue to do is number one make sure that these countries are supporting our counterterrorism methods. >> so is this moment kind of what inspired you to write the article where you write in today's post, you know, it is, quote, designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the disposition of suspects beyond the reach of american drones. >> well, i mean, this article
has been in the works for some time and has taken us about a year to put this series together. what we're really trying to do is take a step back and the implication of the effort that has gone in to create the disposition matrix is the united states now envisions carrying out drone strikes, targeted killings for a long time to come. most officials in the obama administration think it will be extended another decade and that's pretty astonishing thing to consider give than this is a country that really recoiled the idea of targeted killings before september 11, 2001. >> it sounds like the president and your sources are saying this is, you know, i guess a sign of the times. it is here to stay. you also write that, you know, a significant, quote, milestone looms, the number of militants and civilians killed in the drone campaign over the past ten years will soon exceed 3,000 by certain estimates, surpassing the number of people al qaeda killed in the september 11th
attacks. so, in other words, you're saying this has been a fairly effective approach. and promises to be even more so? >> well, i think what that statistic shows is that this is a much larger program than most people realize. that in the aftermath of the september 11 attacks, we started to hear and read about drone strikes on a very small basis. and most people regarded those as -- that as an emergency measure and probably a finite measure. but under the obama administration, those strikes have continued and accelerated and there have been hundreds of strikes in pakistan, yemen, smal w ia and elsewhere under the obama administration. that number is creeping up past the total number of americans killed about 11 years ago. >> greg miller of the washington post, thank you so much, appreciate it. on to florida, bogus letters going out to voters across the state telling them they're not eligible to vote. up next, reaction from one of
couldn't be higher, some suspicious letters have been showing up. the letters claim to be from the county election supervisor saying this, quote, failure to submit this form within 15 days will result in the removal of your name from the voter registration rolls and you will no longer be eligible to vote. a nonregistered voter who casts a vote in the state of florida may be subject to arrest, imprisonment and/or other criminal sanctions, end quote. the problem is, the letters aren't coming from anyone official. and they target mostly republicans. earlier i spoke to one of the voters who actually received the letter, bill bishop, president of the jacksonville city council. and i talked to cnn's joe johns who has been following the story. how did it strike you when you received it? did it look authentic? >> when i received the letter, at first blush it looked like just another piece of political junk mail. but then after closer inspection of the outside of it, it had
just enough officialty to it that made me open it up. but even then it didn't quite look exactly right. >> so given you work for the city, you probably are a little bit more astute as to what kind of mail looks official or not. do you know anybody else who received this kind of letter and if so what was their reaction? how have they responded? >> well, i don't know anybody personally who else received it. i do know there were several in jacksonville that did. and after further conversations with our supervisor of elections, there were many throughout the state and in multiple counties that received them. >> all right, joe johns, our correspond out of washington is also with us to join in on the conversation. joe, you recently did a documentary about voter fraud, intimidation and, you know, voter i.d. changes in laws. is this -- this kind of cam where the letters are going out, is this in sync with a wave of confusion sweeping many jurisdictions across the country
leading up to this election day? >> fredricka, i think that's exactly the word you need to use. we're talking about confusion here. there is a lot of confusion around the country, certainly there in the state of florida. i think mr. bishop is one good sort of representative of it, and the question is why, why would somebody create confusion? in this case, the authorities say they're looking at it as, you know, plain and simple, mail fraud. the fbi, we're told, has just announced that they have launched an investigation, joining up with united states postal inspectors and the florida department of law enforcement, all to try to take a good hard look at why letters like these coming from seattle, washington, going to the state of florida would actually have been put in the mail, for what purpose? confusion, yes. but the thing that is interesting is that if you look at mr. bishop, there are a lot of others we're told who are
people who are very politically active, who receive these letters, so it doesn't appear that the objective was just to quietly make people not vote. >> many also targeted registered republicans. and when you look at a post mark from seattle to some of these florida addresses, what does this tell you about this campaign or who might be responsible? who is behind this kind of letter campaign? >> well, as far as who is behind it, i have no idea. this is something that just doesn't make any sense. all it could potentially do it just tie up various time of the employees of all of the supervisor of elections office because it doesn't ask anybody to do anything other than contact your supervisor of elections. >> bill bishop and joe johns there. an undecided voter drawing unwanted criticism following her recent question at the presidential debate. up next, hear the woman's message to her critics.
a new study backs up this question that came up in the second presidential debate. >> in what new ways do you intend to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, specifically regarding females making only 72% of what their male counterparts earn? >> a report just released from the american association of university women finds for every dollar a new male college grad is paid, a female grad earns 82 cents. and while research may support voter catherine fenton, well, she has been facing a lot of backlash for bringing up the gender gap in pay. cnn's randi kaye has her story. >> reporter: this 24-year-old undecided voter never imagined that a simple nonpartisan question would make her a target of vicious attacks by conservatives. yet by the time the candidates finished answering her question, the twitter-verse and the blogosphere knew the name catherine fenton.
could you see the political divide in the comments on your question? >> easily. >> reporter: conservative author matthew vadum took to twitter immediately with this, catherine fenton, questioner, brings up the femme nazi leftist lie that women don't get pay equally. and michelle malkin tweeted, softball, #ladypartstool, catherine fenton asks obama how he will rectify gender pay disparities. how did it feel to be called by a woman a lady parts tool? >> she should be ashamed of herself. that's awful. we're one and the same. i'm standing up there trying to make a point that ultimately is working in her favor, and for her to say things like that i think is really irresponsible and, you know, again, hurtful. >> reporter: conservatives have long downplayed the gender pay gap, some have suggested men work more hours in higher paying jobs.
catherine who still hasn't decided who to vote for doesn't buy that. >> if it were a man asking, it would be, oh, i have the best interests of women in mind and i love my daughter and i love my wife. because i ask, i am this monster that has all these crazy idea in her head. >> reporter: by the morning after the debate, conservatives were all riled up, a smear campaign was in full swing. and all things catherine fenton were fair game. and not just on twitter, the conservative publication free beacon printed this article, written anonymously, the article suggested catherine's twitter account revealed she liked to get wet at happy hour and that purple juice was her choice to get blackout drunk. >> i felt no need to even defend it or address it because they were inside jokes. i'm 24, yes. i drink, that's legal. yes, i have had boyfriends. all of that seems pretty normal
to me. >> reporter: in regret in asking that question? >> zero. i would do it again if i had a chance. >> reporter: what angers her most is those attacking her don't know anything about her. she's a teacher. her parents are ultra conservative, she says. and she's a registered independent who voted for republican john mccain in 2008. this year she's having a hard time choosing a candidate because she wants more specifics. she likes obama care because it allowed her to stay on her parent's health insurance. but she also likes romney's business sense. at 24, she's focused more on social issues than tax cuts and foreign policy. >> i want to know where you see the country to go, i also want to know how you intend to get there. >> reporter: and unfortunately, debate number three didn't get catherine fenton the answers she needs, leaving her wondering still who to vote for. randi kaye, cnn, new york. this political season has provided its fair share of
all right. president barack obama will take a quick break from his two-day battleground state blitz and sit down tonight with jay leno. he's working the late night comedy circuit to woo voters in the home stretch now. mitt romney's wife, ann, made her "tonight show" debut in september. wynter has more. >> anybody else better off? >> i am. doing great. doing real good. >> this summer, one of my horses failed to medal at the olympics. i know hardship. >> reporter: late night political humor, it's funny. >> my man mitt just has clint eastwood, donny and marie osmond and i want to say joy's sister. >> reporter: it's binding. >> binder of women.
book of brauds. >> reporter: is it mere entertainment? the impact shouldn't be ignored. >> just like traditional news, news analysis, the debates, conventions, political advertising all shape how people make sense of politics and make sense of the candidates. so too does the daily show and "saturday night live." >> reporter: she finds that while they don't necessarily persuade anyone to vote a particular way, they do play an important educational role. >> i have a forthcoming study that finds that people gain factual knowledge from the "daily show" particularly when they approach the show as news as opposed to considering it purely entertainment. >> reporter: comedy central partnered with true insights to study the impact of late night humor. its research concluded half of voters age 32 and younger frequently use political satire
shows like stewart, colbert to "follow politics and the election." 36% use shows like letterman and leno for the same purpose. the candidates have made several appearances on them. president obama recently sat down with jon stewart for a mostly substantiative interview along with a few jokes. >> we have been speaking now for i think a good 12 to 14 minutes. and i am curious, how many e-mails during that time do you think your campaign has sent to me? >> it depends on what do you max out? >> reporter: no political figure has felt the impact of late night humor more than sarah palin. tina faye's impersonation of her on snl became a defining caricature. >> and i can see russia from my house. >> reporter: she never said the words exactly, but it stuck thanks to funny faye. >> mr. vice president, i know you're under a lot of duress to
make up for lost ground. but i think people would be better served if we didn't keep interrupting each other. >> you don't scare me shark eyes. >> reporter: election 2012 may not have proven quite a rich a target, so its ultimatin flubs remains to be seen. but in the midst of a mud slinging horse race. >> governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets. >> the president began what i call an apology tour. >> reporter: if nothing else, we could all use a little comic relief. >> which version of barack obama would respond? the first debate's sleepy time mcgill cud di or pretty talk jones. >> candy, what governor romney said just isn't true. >> it's alive. >> all right. coming up, as the pakistani teen targeted by the taliban recovers from her attack, they have now identified the main suspect in the assault and cnn has an exclusive look.
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the top of the hour. you know what that means, wolf blitzer and "the situation room." what do you have on tap, wolf? >> lots of political news. only 13 days to go as you know, fred. and we're watching this race for the white house very, very closely. very interesting, something unusual happened, i know you've been covering it. the president of the united states gives an off the record interview to "des moines register" in iowa getting ready to endorse either the president or mitt romney. and all of a sudden after the des moines register complains the fact it's off the record, the white house says go ahead and publish the whole thing. there's some interesting nuggets in there. the president thought he was speaking off the record, but he says he thinks he knows why he'll win re-election if in fact he does win. and he shares that thought with the editorial writers at "the des moines register." we've gone through that transcript. there's some other information as well. we'll be all over that. all of the other political news as well. >> we look forward to that. wolf blitzer, appreciate that.
"the situation room" less than two minutes away. all right. heightened alert now along the gaza border with israel after new fighting erupted between militants and the israeli military. two days of air strikes have killed four palestinians. at least two of them are described as militants. israeli forces say they bombed sites in gaza where they say palestinian rocket attacks into israel were originating. this is damage to buildings on the israeli side. officials say a palestinian rocket attack sent several people to the hospital yesterday. and an important development out of pakistan. police there say they now know who shot and critically wounded 15-year-old activist malala yousufzai. cnn has exclusively obtained this picture of the main suspect in the girl's shooting. police identify him as atta khan, a 23-year-old chemistry student from the swat district. he's not been ca